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Thread: Dslr as light meter

  1. #1

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    Dslr as light meter

    Frank, among others, uses a Dslr as a light meter. Since a good light meter and a good Dslr are about the same price these days, I would like to hear more about how you do it. While I have not been carrying a Dslr with me, I have started to rethink that, now that there are small and cheap ones with good resolution. Do you have to have spot metering in Dslr or do you depend on the histograms?

  2. #2

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    Re: Dslr as light meter

    Since the histogram will have a different response than the film you are using (and most DSLR histograms are not even very accurate) I think you will want to use a spot meter.

  3. #3

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    Re: Dslr as light meter

    Well I use my DSLR b/c i carry it around everywhere anyway. I normally make the test exposure (same ISO etc) then add filter facters/bellows factors etc and shoot. When I am checking the histogram i normally do it under the darkcloth (blocks out reflections) So far i have not spoiled a single velvia slide b/c of bad exposure (plenty of other reasons have). I am sticking with this stratergy b/c i carry my nikon everywhere and the spotmeter is one less thing to carry

  4. #4

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    Re: Dslr as light meter

    Thanks stompyq. Anyone using a Dslr with black and white?

  5. #5

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    Re: Dslr as light meter

    While the dSLR Histrograms are probably not a match to your film, I doubt they are THAT far off for those of us who still use commercial labs and neg film. If I ran a careful and precise Zone System darkroom and had multiple processing times for minus development, etc. then I would get a spot meter and live via the Holy Rule of Saint Ansel. But for my stuff the dSLR has proven to be plenty accurate for C-41 and B&W.

    I even stopped using the spot metering. I just go for the Histrogram and make sure to keep the highlights where I want them and let the shadows fall wherever.

  6. #6

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    Re: Dslr as light meter

    > I even stopped using the spot metering. I just go for the Histrogram and make sure to keep the highlights where I want them and let the shadows fall wherever.

    I would have assumed that, at least with black and white, you would attend to the shadows and let the highlights go where they will. Do you set the exposure to just below where the highlights start to clip?

  7. #7

    Re: Dslr as light meter

    The batteries on my spotmeter died a few days ago so I used my DSLR in its place. I had already compared them and knew that they were 1/3 of a stop different, so it worked just fine. While I can see some advantages using histograms, I didn't want to think too much, so just made a few well placed meterings and went on my happy way.

  8. #8

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    Re: Dslr as light meter

    A meter in the hand is worth two in the camera.

    Don't use your DSLR unless you're in a crunch.

  9. #9

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    Re: Dslr as light meter

    Yeah, just below clipping.

    I even use the dSLR for a flash meter. I must be a slob...

  10. #10

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    Re: Dslr as light meter

    I think just about anything light sensitive is usable as long as you know how to use it relative to what you're doing.

    Frank, never say you're sorry. Someone will agree with you!

    Steve

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